Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/11/2012 -- BMI's latest South Africa Defence and Security Report examines the country's strategic position in Africa and the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the future in the context of South Africa's ongoing assumption of a regional leadership role and security challenges, including piracy and poaching.
In addition, the report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. This quarter's general conclusion is that while the appointment of a new defence minister in July could put the brakes on the country's defence reforms in the short term, South Africa should still be able to start rectifying the problems in its defence structure once it moves forward with the implementation of its April 2012 Defence Review.
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Once the review is formally approved, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be able to move forwards with updating its entire posture to focus more on regional operations and on anti-piracy. Key army procurement programmes, which have been stalled for several years, may also see some overdue movement as the review takes effect and as extra funding comes onstream.
While there is a risk of political instability as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) gears up for a leadership election in late 2012, the main challenges to South African security include weak border controls - though these have recently been strengthened by new military deployments - as well as transnational crime in the form of poaching and piracy. The SANDF is preparing to increase its patrol activities in the Mozambique Channel, for example, to deal with these problems.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- Having brought forward the new Defence Review - South Africa's first in 14 years - in April, defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu was replaced in a cabinet reshuffle in July. BMI notes that this change was not well received by a defence sector that had growing confidence in the direction the former minister was taking South African defence.
- The SANDF's regional activities are updated, including its engagement with other regional militaries and the first anti-piracy interdiction involving a South African Navy ship in the Mozambique Channel.
- Arms import and export news from Q2 in reviewed in detail, with major activity including a U$450mn deal for Denel Land Systems in Malaysia.
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